Journal of Computing in Higher Education

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 388–410 | Cite as

Students’ social media engagement and fear of missing out (FoMO) in a diverse classroom

  • Dorit AltEmail author


With the growing attention paid to fear of missing out (FoMO) psychological phenomenon in explaining social media engagement (SME), this mixed-method research measured the relative impact of FoMO on students’ SME for personal reasons during lectures. The moderating effect of culture (minority vs. non-minority students) on the connection between FoMO and SME was also considered. Quantitative data were gathered from 279-undergraduate students. The structural equation modeling results showed a positive moderate connection between the FoMO and SME variables. The bootstrapping result showed a significant indirect effect between the minority group of students and SME through increased levels of FoMO. A sequential explanatory strategy was used to refine and interpret the quantitative results. Accordingly, qualitative data were gathered by using semi-structured interviews to assist in explaining the findings of the quantitative phase. The qualitative data suggested several explanations for students’ distractive behavior enabled by technology during class. The main recurrent theme was the frequently used instructional activities based on the teacher-centered pedagogical approach. This approach imposed greater challenges for minority students as they tend to grapple with a host of language barriers. These students reported using social media tools to seek help from friends during lectures and feared missing out a useful assistance. Another finding showed that mainly non-minority students who experienced FoMO admitted using social media during lessons regardless of the teaching method implemented.


Social media engagement Fear of missing out Mixed-method study Diverse classroom 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kinneret College on the Sea of GalileeJordan ValleyIsrael

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